Republican voters’ hatred of liberals and what we stand for—fair wages, a robust social safety net; affordable health care for every citizen; free and fair elections; affordable child care; clean water; clean air; a greener economy; and a national leader who takes his advice from policy experts instead of Brian Kilmeade, a horoscope, or Marmaduke—is so intense that they’ll blithely vote for and support domestic terrorists like Sen. Mitch McConnell if it somehow helps them own the libs.
The latest example? McConnell and congressional Republicans are only too happy to play chicken with the global economy, refusing to vote to suspend the debt ceiling as Democrats and Republicans did on a bipartisan basis three fucking times during the prodigal Trump administration—an administration that presided over a gaudy $7.8 trillion increase in the national debt. (Remember when Trump said he’d eliminate the national debt entirely if he were elected? What happened to that?)
Naturally, Republicans are shocked—shocked!—about the huge debts they ran up during the Trump years, so they are doing the predictable thing: blaming Democrats, creating an artificial crisis in order to make Democrats look like profligate tax-and-spenders. Because they’re very disciplined, in that they’ve somehow managed to be 100% dishonest about deficits 100% of the time, there’s a good chance this will work on the general voting public. Democrats will eventually “cave,” because they’re not 1960s James Bond villains like those other guys, and 2022 will be a referendum on the debt that Republicans somehow completely forgot about for the past four years.
I’ve always argued that Donald Trump’s lone superpower is that he’s completely and utterly shameless. He’ll do and say anything to satisfy the squishy wad of id that animates his gooey, nougat-y gob of a soul. And Republicans—long practiced in the deadly art of shamelessness themselves—have followed his lead.
That means no election reform bills will be passed to protect our democracy. It means Republicans will do everything in their power to block an investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. It means they’ll corrode the very pillars of our democracy in order to advance the fiction that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump, when the truth is he all but gave the election away when he refused to take COVID-19 seriously.
It also means Republicans will shiv their own voters by pretending to zealously defend their inviolable freedoms to … be slightly less uncomfortable (i.e., unmasked) in a grocery store, refuse a shot that would likely save their lives and those of their neighbors, bounce heart disease and cancer patients out of desperately needed ICU beds, and post dipshit memes about Dr. Anthony Fauci. Their voters’ freedom to live or our freedom not to live in pockets of pestilent squalor? Pfft. Those aren’t real freedoms, dude. After all, if you’re a GOP grunt in Alabama or Missouri, your misplaced anger and dopey Facebook memes are far more valuable to Republicans than your life, so as that intubation tube slides down your throat, quit whining and just suck it up and be happy that you gave your life to protect and defend McConnell’s precious freedom … to tell you absurd lies.
So what can we do? Well, pouting like I’ve done for the past couple of days is not an answer. At one point in my callow youth, I probably thought Republicans were merely misguided. Then I thought, well, they’re decent folk overall, with a few rotten apples in the barrel. Now it’s become abundantly clear that their polestar is just evil, chaos, and naked ambition. And fascism, of course. Let’s not forget fascism.
We have to fight. In every movie, there comes a point where the bad guys appear to have the good guys down for the count. But we know the good guys will win in the end. They’re the good guys, after all.
We have truth on our side. We have a demographic edge going forward. We have policies that are supported by clear majorities of the electorate.
They have nothing—literally nothing—but bullshit and lies. That should be a winning formula for us, not them. So let’s win. And let’s lay the groundwork for those wins now.
And, above all, keep the faith. In the end, we’ll win. Call me naive, but I’ve never doubted that—and neither should you. Because to some degree, at least, our fate is a result of our own self-fulfilling prophecies.
It made comedian Sarah Silverman say, “THIS IS FUCKING BRILLIANT,” and prompted author Stephen King to shout “Pulitzer Prize!!!” (on Twitter, that is). What is it? The viral letter that launched four hilarious Trump-trolling books. Get them all, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.